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Living With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that mainly happens after a person has gone through a traumatic event. Almost eight million people in the United States have experienced the condition. It’s also estimated that seven or eight people out of 100 people are likely to have PTSD during their lifetime. It’s important to talk about the condition as the more you talk about it, the more your loved ones will not feel like they are alone in the journey, and it will also be easier for them to seek help. Another useful fact about PTSD is that it’s most common in women than in men. Statistics show that 4% of men are likely to develop the condition during their lifetime, while it’s 10% for women. The high rate of women experiencing the condition is linked to the exposure of sexual abuse as a child or as an adult.

Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder

The leading symptoms of PTSD include.

  • Relieving the post-traumatic event.

Most people are likely to experience nightmares and flashbacks of what they had to go through. You will also develop anger and intense physical reactions such as heart palpitations or even lack of breathing whenever you are reminded of the experience. Flashbacks will also make you feel like you are reliving the event all over again.

  • Avoiding reminders of the trauma.

It’s essential to ensure that you avoid anything that could remind you of the traumatic event, including the activities, places, and people. Also, avoid thoughts and feelings which may bring back the memories of the trauma.

  • Consistent negative mood.

People who have PTSD are bound to experience negative emotions such as fear, anger, guilt, shame, and numbness. You are also likely to feel negative thoughts about yourself and the world. People in this condition often find themselves blamed for what happened during the event and are likely to stay away from friends and families and lose interest in the day-to-day activities.

  • Having problems during sleep and low concentration.

You are likely to have low concentration and often find it difficult to fall or stay awake. You are frequently in fear as falling asleep might make you relieve the experiences through nightmares.

  • Mental health problems.

People who suffer from this condition experiences mental health problems like depression and anxiety. Most people find themselves engaging in the use of alcohol and other drugs to cope with the condition.

Other symptoms include

  • Experiencing troubling memories and vivid flashbacks.
  • Feeling detached from other people.
  • Loss of interest in activities that you previously enjoyed.

How does the condition affect your daily life?

The condition usually affects a person’s life; hence, you cannot do activities that you could have done usually. Severe effects may lead to panic attacks.

  • Loss of job

 The person always lives in fear; hence walking or driving to your workplace can be difficult. In addition to that, people with the condition often find it hard to do small tasks like household chores. The condition may result in one losing the job.

  • Mental health problems.

People with the condition will experience serious mental health problems, including drug and alcohol abuse, anxiety, and depression.

  • Affect relationships.

PTSD leads to family break ups. The consistent negative moods can lead to bad relationships, and people with the condition are likely to isolate themselves from friends, family, and loved ones. People living with PTSD often feel like the people around them cannot relate to what they are going through; hence, they have trust and intimacy issues. The victims often find it hard to maintain relationships.

How to cope with PTSD?

The first step involves seeking professional help, which will help the victim receive treatment, hence overcoming it. Treatment of PTSD mostly involves the use of therapy and also medications. Apart from seeking treatment, other methods that can help you to keep the state in control includes.

  • Avoiding the use of drugs and alcohol.

It essential to avoid alcohol and drugs as high doses will not help you but worsen the situation.

  • Involvement in physical activities.

You can try to engage yourself with exercises that engage both your legs and arms. You can engage in running, walking, boxing, rock climbing, and weight training activities. The activities will help you to reduce the severity of the symptoms associated with the condition.

  • Practice mindfulness.

The process involves focusing on the present feelings and the surrounding. You can achieve peaceful mindfulness through meditation and enrolling in yoga classes.

  • Reaching out to others for support.

PTSD mostly makes you distanced from other people. You are likely to withdraw from activities that you previously did with your loved ones. Having friends, family, and loved ones around you will help you in your recovery journey and facilitate regular checkups. You can also choose to join a PTSD support group. Hence you will feel less isolated and also gain tips on how to manage the condition.

  • Proper self-care.

It’s crucial to take care of yourself and also develop healthy lifestyle habits. Taking care of yourself will involve having enough time for relaxation; hence you can engage in massage, yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises. Ensure that you take healthy diets by incorporating proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats also limit the processed foods and the use of drugs and alcohol. It’s essential to ensure that you get enough sleep of between seven to nine hours.

PTSD is a condition that affects men, women, teens, and even children. The main symptoms include relieving post-traumatic events, negative moods, difficulties in concentration and sleep. The condition has adverse effects on the people, including loss of a job, break up of a relationship, and at times leads to mental problems such as anxiety and depression. It’s crucial to make the condition known to your loved ones so that the victim can get help on the treatment and get tips for coping with the situation. Some of the tips recommended include engaging in physical exercises, taking care of yourself, and practicing mindfulness. It’s possible to lead a healthy life; hence any person struggling with the condition should seek medical attention to manage PTSD.

source1: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/living-with-ptsd-how-to-manage-anxiety-and-flashbacks/
source2: https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/mental-health/ptsd/related/living-with-ptsd/